Hand them the shears
The hue and cry for an income or some other tax and handing up our Permanent Fund dividends to our betters is growing among the vocal big-governent-at-all-costs crowd. You can see it in desperate letters to the editor across the state. You can watch it on television. The sheep are begging, please, please, please, to be shorn.
We say: Hand them the shears. Let them have their wish.
Who are these people? Union members and government workers who want the gravy train to continue. Then there others who have been propagandized into believing government is the be-all, end-all of our lives. To be fair, there likely are some who actually believe what they are asking for is a good thing.
We say deny none of them. Instead of ignoring them, what this state needs is a way to accommodate those anxious, nay, eager to pay some sort of tax or give up their Permanent Fund dividends for more government. Perhaps it could be done through Pick. Click. Give. Or maybe the Department of Revenue could set up an account to take in their money. We should do our best to help those dying to pay.
We suspect two or three Alaskans would surrender their dividends or a portion of their income to maintain the size of government.
The problem they overlook? Next year, they will need to pay even more. Government only grows and spending in this state has to be checked before any rational person will go along with being taxed or deprived of their dividend. Trying to fix the mess without stopping the bleeding is a fool’s errand.
They ignore the embarrassing fact that our government already is much too large and does far too much – often badly, as in education. It is so large that it for years carried a multibillion-dollar deficit that lawmakers filled by simply draining the state’s savings accounts. Since fiscal 2013, Alaska has outspent its revenues by $16 billion. This year it is only $1.6 billion short. Whoopee!
Will the state eventually need taxes or your dividend? Maybe. But before hungry lawmakers try to put their mitts on our dough, we should tell them to cut first.
Then cut some more.